Pump gets handle on the past

Project of the week

Like a butter churn or a wood-burning stove, an old-fashioned water pump is one of those everyday objects that's become an icon of a simpler past. Everyone recognizes them, and many people remember actually using one. This universal appeal has transformed these once-common fixtures into valuable antiques.

Now do-it-yourselfers can add a nostalgic accessory to the yard, garden or patio at a fraction of the cost of an antique. Easy to build, this water pump project is made mostly from plywood, and all of the curved cuts are traced from full-sized patterns. Designed for use as a decorative fountain, the project incorporates a submersible recirculating pump to move the water.

The choice of containers to catch the falling water is left up to the builder. We used a galvanized pail, but a tub, wooden half-barrel or even an existing pond (as long as it's lined) will all work with the water pump. The completed project measures about 44 inches tall and is 14 inches square at the base.

The Water Pump Plan, No. 880, is $9.95 and includes full-size traceable patterns, step-by-step directions with nine photos, construction diagrams, a shopping list and a cutting layout and schedule. A mail-order source for a submersible pump with hose is also included.

A package of water-driven projects, No. C130, is $22.95 and includes this plan plus plans for a water wheel and a grist mill. A catalog picturing hundreds of do-it-yourself projects is $3.95. Prices include postage and handling. Please allow about four weeks for delivery (for rush delivery, add $1 per item up to $3 maximum and allow about two weeks).

To order by mail, clip this article and send it with a check or money order to U-Bild Features, c/o Lawrence Journal-World, P.O. Box 2383, Van Nuys, Calif. 91409. To order by credit card, call (800) 828-2453. Visit U-Bild on the Web at www.u-bild.com.

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